Diary December 31, 1940

Blenheim bombers low-level attack

Diary for Tuesday, December 31, 1940: Air War RAF daylight raids on Cologne, Rotterdam (oil supplies), Ijmuiden (docks) and bridge over Rhine near Emmerich. Valona (Albania) and Assab (Italian East Africa) also bombed by RAF. Home Fronts Britain: ‘Fire-watchers’ to… learn more

Diary December 30, 1940

Burning buildings London

Diary for Monday, December 30, 1940: Home Front Britain: Royal Engineers and Pioneers dynamite fire-gutted buildings in City of London. learn more

Diary December 29, 1940

London after a fire air raid

Diary for Sunday, December 29, 1940: Air War Britain: SECOND GREAT FIRE OF LONDON. 136 aircraft drop 30,000 incendiaries – great conflagration in ‘City’ area; Guildhall and 8 Wren churches gutted. Neutrals USA: Roosevelt declares in a radio ‘fireside chat’… learn more

Diary December 28, 1940

Bleinheim IV reconaissance plane

Diary for Saturday, December 28, 1940: Secret War The Gelsenkirchen Report: RAF photo-reconnaissance mission of Ruhr synthetic oil plant, flown December 24, shows it not destroyed. learn more

Diary December 27, 1940

He 111 exploding over London

Diary for Friday, December 27, 1940: Air War Britain: Night raids on London by 100 aircraft. learn more

Diary December 26, 1940

Alarm start

Diary for Thursday, December 26, 1940: Air War RAF daylight raids on airfields in Brittany; night raid on Bordeaux. learn more

Diary December 25, 1940

heavy cruiser 'Admiral Hipper'

Diary for Wednesday, December 25, 1940: Sea War Atlantic: Heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper attacks large British troop convoy west of Cape Finisterre, damaging 2 ships and escorting cruiser Berwick. Air War Italian aircraft raid Corfu for twenty-third time (15 killed). learn more

Diary December 24, 1940

Toy uniform and toy soldiers

Diary for Tuesday, December 24, 1940: Sea War Mediterranean: Greek sub Papanicolis sinks Italian transport off Albania. learn more

Diary December 23, 1940

Winston Churchill with his first Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax

Diary for Monday, December 23, 1940: Home Fronts Britain: Eden becomes Foreign Secretary; Lord Halifax goes to Washington Embassy. learn more

Diary December 22, 1940

British women anti-aircraft helpers

Diary for Sunday, December 22, 1940: Air War Britain: First of two consecutive heavy night raids on Manchester. learn more

Diary December 21, 1940

cruise of Orion in Pacific 1940-41

Diary for Saturday, December 21, 1940: Sea War Pacific: German disguised raiders Komet and Orion land 496 survivors (including 70 women and 7 children) from 10 British and Allied merchant ships – sunk since August – on Emirau Islands (New… learn more

Diary December 20, 1940

Bomb forest

Diary for Friday, December 20, 1940: Air War Britain: First of two consecutive heavy night raids on Liverpool. Home Fronts Britain: Committee of Enquiry into Arandora Star disaster from July 2, 1940 publishes its findings. Main criticism concerns the indiscriminate… learn more

Diary December 19, 1940

shoveling snow in Kristiansand

Diary for Thursday, December 19, 1940: Neutrals Finland: President Kallio dies of heart failure on the day of his retirement; aged 67. learn more

Diary December 18, 1940

Gibraltar is prepared for defense

Diary for Wednesday, December 18, 1940: Home Fronts Britain: 10,969 evacuees have now arrived from Gibraltar. Germany: HITLER ORDERS PREPARATIONS FOR INVASION OF RUSSIA (Operation Barbarossa) with deadline of May 15, 1941. Soviet Army to be encircled and destroyed in… learn more

Diary December 17, 1940

Italian Fort Capuzzo

Diary for Tuesday, December 17, 1940: North Africa British capture Sollum and Fort Capuzzo. 20,000 captured Italians to be sent to India and interned at Ahmednagar, Ramgarh and Deolali. Sea War British destroyer Acheron mined and sunk off Isle of… learn more

Diary December 16, 1940

nerve centre of RAF Bomber Command

Diary for Monday, December 16, 1940: Air War First area bombing raid on German city: 134 RAF aircraft sent to Mannheim (night December 16-17). Large fires started on both banks of Rhine. Other targets include Speyer-am-Rhein and Heilbronn, but Basle… learn more

Diary December 15, 1940

time of 'collaboration'

Diary for Sunday, December 15, 1940: Occupied countries France: Coffin of Napoleon II (1811-1832), transported from Vienna to Paris on Hitler‘s orders, is reburied in Les Invalides. Air War RAF night raids on Berlin and Naples (again an Italian cruiser… learn more

Diary December 14, 1940

Pierre Laval

Diary for Saturday, December 14, 1940: Neutrals Vichy France: Petain dismisses Foreign Minister Laval and appoints Flandin. (German Ambassador subsequently intercedes on Laval’s behalf.) Irish Republic: IRA internees set fire to Curragh Camp near Dublin and fight with troops and… learn more

Diary December 13, 1940

Production of field guns

Diary for Friday, December 13, 1940: Sea War Mediterranean: Cruiser Coventry damaged by Italian submarine Neghelli off coast of Libya. learn more

Diary December 12, 1940

He 111 about to take off for a night mission

Diary for Thursday, December 12, 1940: Air War Britain: 336 bombers sent to Sheffield (night December 12-13): many streets blocked by debris and wrecked tramcars. Follow-up raid by 94 planes 3 nights later. Politics Death of Lord Lothian, British Ambassador… learn more